Interannual Fidelity to Roosting Habitat and Flight Paths by Female Western Barbastelle Bats

  • Hillen J
  • Kiefer A
  • Veith M
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Abstract

The roost area selection of reproductive female western barbastelles was examined throughout four study seasons (2004-2007) via radio-tracking and automated acoustic monitoring We specifically analysed the spatial structure of the roosting habitat and roost fidelity including a flight path connecting the roosts We radio-tracked 13 colony members to 46 natural roosts, mainly dead oaks with large pieces of loose bark Simultaneous tracking of four pairs of females revealed the existence of subgroups and fission-fusion-behaviour in Barbastella barbastellus The colony displayed fidelity to the roost area rather than to single roost trees, although some trees were reused in two or three study seasons Bimodal activity patterns obtained from acoustic monitoring indicated that the flight path connecting two core roosting areas functioned as a commuting corridor

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Authors

  • Jessica Hillen

  • Andreas Kiefer

  • Michael Veith

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